Security tops FG Midterm Spending Plan

Oct 6, 2011 – The federal government’s spending on security is set to surpass power infrastructure spending in the next four years, the proposed Medium Term Fiscal Framework reveals.

The proposal, from President Goodluck Jonathan and submitted to the National Assembly on Tuesday, indicates that the nation would emphasis security in its spending between 2012 and 2015.

“Over the 2012-2015 period, government will focus a large portion of its spending on key sectors which include security, infrastructure (including power), agriculture, manufacturing, housing and construction, entertainment, education, health and ICT,” stated the proposal.

Recently, the country has been overwhelmed by severe internal security threats leading to the bombing of the nation’s police headquarters and the recent bombing of the United Nations office in Abuja by Boko Haram.

Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group, has since early 2010 embarked on a series of terrorist attacks to get the government to listen to their cause and on one hand to avenge the extra judicial killing of the leader – in 1999 – and incarceration of their members.

Boko Haram’s terror attacks comes at the heels of similar terror attacks from a Southern based Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND). The group which, had been restricted to kidnappings and bunkering in the Niger Delta region, expanded their scope of operations by bombing a spot, about three kilometres away from the venue of Nigeria’s independence golden jubilee celebration at the nation’s capital, Abuja, in 2010.

Operations of both militant groups have drastically changed the way things are done in Nigeria. Just last month, towards the annual anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, both groups threatened they would attack venue of the celebration citing that there was no reason for the nation to celebrate.

Events marking the anniversary were moved from its usual public venue – Eagle Square – to the fortified presidential villa, and held low-key. Subsequently, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) cancelled passing out parades for graduating corps members citing security challenges.

The 2012-2015 Medium Term Fiscal Framework proposes to increase aggregate expenditure from N4.8 trillion in 2012 to N5.18 trillion in 2015. Capital spending will also increase marginally from N1.32 trillion in 2012 to N1.64 trillion in 2015.

When approved, its major component would be government’s intention to phase out fuel subsidy beginning from next year. Daily Times